The Spectacle Blog

The Game (Lobbyist Not Rap Star Edition)

By on 3.31.06 | 8:55AM

Somehow or other, a Boston Globe reporter got their hands on a list of Grover Norquist's donor list and wrote up a story on the incongruities and political/philosophical fence-straddling it hints at. It's an interesting read, though not a surprising one for anyone who has spent time on the edges of the D.C. political hustle bustle. Consistency in the heart of Leviathan? Surely ye jest! On a side note: Why does it seem these days wherever there is smoke there's an Indian casino?

For obvious reasons, the story uses "Norquist's largest individual donor: Richard 'Dickie' Scruggs, a Democratic Mississippi trial lawyer, who contributed $4.3 million" as the recurring peg of the story. Who this information will to hurt more--Norquist in conservatives' eyes or trial lawyers in liberals' eyes--is not clear. Apparently Scruggs wanted Norquist to help stop a Republican proposal to put a ceiling on legal fees trial lawyers could take home, which makes for the following priceless bit towards the end of the story:

Given that trial lawyers are major donors to the Democratic Party, Scruggs saw the attack on their fees as a Republican effort ''aimed at essentially de-funding the Democratic Party by penalizing trial lawyers."

That's hardly the best press Democrats could get out of an article going after one of the most recognized men in the Republican establishment. Now Scruggs wants to play victim, feigning shock at the very idea that Norquist might have spent some of his money on Republicans. "That is the opposite motivation for which I contributed to them," Scruggs said. "I would never have done it." Grover Norquist helping Republicans??! The very idea comes, literally, out of nowhere. Or maybe out of Reagan National Airport. Whatever.

"I paid a lot of money," Scruggs said. ''I thought that was the way the game was played."

Hmm. Well, the proposal was defeated and you did get to keep the $1 billion fee from the tobacco lawsuits, Scruggs, no? I'd say that's a pretty fair indication that you played the game just fine and came out on top to boot.

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